E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Ranunculus glaberrimus Hook.
sagebrush buttercup
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Paul Handford  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #65386)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Ranunculus glaberrimus
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from cluster of fleshy roots, the roots 1-3 mm wide; stems prostrate to ascending, simple or branched above, 4-15 cm tall/long, smooth, not hollow.
Mostly basal, persistent, kidney- or egg-shaped, to narrowly elliptic, 0.7-5.2 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, margins entire or shallowly 3-lobed at tip, tips rounded to pointed, bases blunt to narrowed, the stalks long, slender; stem leaves alternate, unstalked or nearly so, deeply 3-lobed; smooth.
Inflorescence of 1- to 4-flowered, terminal cymes, on stalks to 10 cm long; receptacle smooth; petals 5-10 or more, distinct, yellow, 8-13 mm long, 5-12 mm wide, egg-shaped, nectary on upper surface, the nectary scale smooth or fringed with hairs, 1.5-2 mm long; sepals 5, early deciduous, spreading to bent back, 5-8 mm long, 3-7 mm wide, smooth above or sparsely hairy; stamens 40-80; pistils 30-150.
Achenes, numerous in a globe-shaped head 7-12 (20) mm long, 6-11 (20) mm wide, the achenes egg-shaped, plump, slightly winged, 1.4-2.2 mm long, 1.1-1.8 mm wide, usually minutely-hairy; beaks persistent, lanceolate- to awl-shaped, straight or curved, 0.4-1 mm long.
Two sympatric and intergrading varieties occur in BC:

1. Basal leaf blades egg-shaped, usually shallowly lobed; stem leaves usually entire..................... var. glaberrimus

1. Basal leaf blades oblanceolate to elliptic, usually entire; stem leaves entire to 3-lobed..................... var. ellipticus Greene

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry grasslands, shrublands, sandy flats, rocky slopes and open forests in the steppe and montane zones; common in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent northward; E to SK and S to NB, ND, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Ranunculus glaberrimus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 375 913 2105
Slope Gradient (%) 0 24 78
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
14 149 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(1), BG(10), ESSF(5), IDF(28), MS(1), PP(26), SBS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References